Ramos returns

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Despite her basement-level approval and trust ratings–and calls for her resignation from the opposition, business groups, academia, her erstwhile cabinet members, former political allies, Corazon Aquino, and a broad range of militant, religious, people’s and non-governmental organizations–President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has so far defied predictions that she would be forced out of office by the hemorrhage of her support last July 8.

The Catholic bishops’ decision not to ask her to resign came later, on Sunday, July 10, and was not as crucial to stopping the bleeding as former President Fidel Ramos’ declaration of support for Ms. Arroyo on condition that she preside over charter change and the shift to the parliamentary system. Continue reading

Things Fall Apart

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The Pulse Asia finding that 61 percent of Filipinos think they would be better off without Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in Malacanang was not surprising. Previous surveys had earlier indicated a vast erosion of public confidence in Ms. Arroyo.

Malacanang claims not to be surprised at the findings either. But however much Malacanang affects indifference to the gathering storm calling for Ms. Arroyo to resign that now includes ten former members of her own Cabinet and even her allies in the Liberal Party, Ms. Arroyo may soon be leaving Malacanang as her capacity to govern deteriorates. Continue reading

Arroyo’s gamble

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Her perception that the threat of a People Power uprising or of a military coup had waned seemed to have emboldened President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo into admitting last June 27 that it is her voice in the “tapes” of the allegedly wiretapped conversations between her and “a Comelec official.”

Mrs. Arroyo’s confession can still backfire, however. The more perceptive realized even as she was broadcasting it live that she was also thus validating the tapes authenticity, and admitting to the accuracy of their contents. Despite Mrs. Arroyo’s claim that she did not cheat, the phone conversations between her and former Commission on Elections Commissioner Virigilio Garcillano suggest that there was indeed a conspiracy to manipulate the results of the May 2004 vote. Continue reading